A Concept Artist Behind Silent Hill: Revelation: Alex Tuis
I have a treat for you Silent Hill fans for Fan Art Friday! I had the great opportunity to speak with Alex Tuis who worked with Paul Jones as a concept artist for the film.
Silent Haven: Hello Alex, you are signed under Silent Hill: Revelation as a concept artist. I was excited to hear you were doing concept art for the film after I saw your work. Where do you get your style or influence from and why do you specifically specialize in creature design as an artist?
Alex Tuis: Over the years I have been influenced by Artists such as Frank Frazetta, John Buscema, Moebius, Katsuhiro Otomo, zdzislaw beksinski, Mike Mignola, Alex Ross, but also painters like Bouguereau, Lawrence Alma Tadema, Jean-Léon Gérôme… But when I began to draw realistic things, I tried to copy portraits of actors and shots from movies…
Slightly I realized that I was really fascinated by fantasy and horror movies, and of course the creatures, strange characters and all the bestiary inside them. And one day I discovered Steve Wang’s work, ADI creatures and others and I realize that it was a possibility to only design monsters. Which was and is still my first interest.
Silent Haven: Is there any form of art you prefer? Oil paint on canvas, charcoal, digital?
Alex Tuis: Today, I am working most of the time via Photoshop and my tablet. But I also do appreciate sketches (I using most of the time 4B graphite pencil).
I also recently tried to paint with oils, but this is not the same deal. I wish I could find more time to work with this medium. I painted a lot of things with acrylics, years ago. But today it is too much time taken for a less interesting result than what you can have with computer paintings. Except of course with oils, which really has amazing rendering.
Silent Haven: Which character did you do concept art for in Silent Hill Revelation?
Alex Tuis: On my side I have worked on the character played by Malcolm McDowell, but I have no idea if they kept my designs.
Silent Haven: I love your designs and your style. It is actually very similar to famous Silent Hill creature designer Masahiro Ito. Ito has this style where he feels that if the creatures he designs don’t stray too far from the human anatomy that they are far scarier than anything that goes too far into fantasy. Looking at your designs I get the sense that you have this similar style. Your art is not just psychologically terrifying but also disturbing which is perfect for the Silent Hill universe. It is truly a good thing to hear you apart of this film. I actually wish you did more monsters in the film. I am excited though to hear you worked on the Leonard Wolf, which is McDowell’s character.
Alex Tuis: Many thanks for your words and the comparison with Masahiro Ito.
I am not sure to have the same “spirit” when I am doing my creatures.
I am trying these days to develop a style named “Mineral Flesh” which is much more like colored version of my sketches. Often I am trying to do sexy and strange characters. It is ok if they are frightening, but I don’t have in mind that they should be…
About Leonard, I have no idea what he will look like… because just before I left the show, someone told me that they will certainly take another direction with the character. Silent Hill wasn’t really a good experience for me, because I was really sick at this period, had a very bad cold, and I think we did not find a good way to understand each other, me and Michael J Bassett.
Silent Haven: No problem. They probably toned down your work to appeal to a wider audience which would sadden me. Were you a fan prior to your work on Silent Hill: Revelation or were you asked to join?
Alex Tuis: It was my choice to work on Silent Hill*. I tried to contact Samuel Hadida the next day I saw the first movie in theaters.
So, years after when I learned that they had the green light for a second movie, I contacted them.
I am a fan of Silent Hill. I like this universe. I like the characters, their failures, their erotic tense and the background behind them.
There is also a “mystery smoke” all around this place, and not only the fog in the street, there is always a strange diabolical atmosphere in the game, and I like that.
The score is also perfect…how is it possible to forget the first theme in the first game?
A hit for sure….
Silent Haven: Were you given any direction for designing Leonard or did you take inspiration from anything from Silent Hill?
Alex Tuis: Designing Leonard was particular..because during the first step, I did my own stuff, based on pictures of the game. Then they realized they were most interested in re designing the sketches Rob Mc Callum’s has made for the story board. So I worked around different versions and interpretation of Rob’s design for Leonard. Today I have no idea how he looks like, because Paul Jones rebuilt him with his own touch. It will also be a surprise for me.